Sentimental journey


POSTED: Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I have been a student at Le Jardin for nearly my entire academic life and now that I am senior, my time here is almost over. I decided that before I left, I would take a little farewell tour around campus. After spending four long years in the high school, I had forgotten there was so much going on in other parts of the school! Students could take a trip around the world, go on an archaeological dig, explore outer space or play underwater hockey. Every day is an educational adventure, from the 5-year-olds who build cars to my classmates preparing to begin the journey to college.




Each week, Hawaii's teenage reporters tell us about their high school. Today's school is ...

Le Jardin Academy


917 Kalaniahole Highway, Kailua 96734




Vicki McNeill














The Garden Gazette


Faculty adviser: Kay Hoffman


Staff: Katie Amberg-Johnson, Nikol Drewry, Ethan Gentes, Thomas Moore and Katerya Zhupanova




At the kindergarten classrooms, I found the students preparing for Transportation Day. They have designed their own vehicles after studying “;How to Move People.”; The culminating activity is a day on which they build and drive vehicles they designed, learning about traffic safety, road signs, map skills, shapes and automobile pollution.

Around the corner, the second-graders are a-bustle with online and book research on subjects ranging from wildlife to beaches, outer space to dirt bikes, for their Unit of Exploration. They each create an “;exploration box”; decorated with pictures and items that relate to their chosen topic.

The third-grade classrooms are just farther down that hall, but the third-graders are away “;traveling”; to ancient civilizations. After discovering buried items in a mock archaeological dig, they will work to reassemble decorated clay pots, learning the ways in which scientists discern information and all the while maintaining a journal about their journeys to the past.

The fourth-graders are busy recounting old Hawaiian folklore by rewriting stories in their own words and drawings, then performing them for the first-graders. Once their projects are done, they show off their hard work on the Le Jardin Academy Web site.

Farther along, the fifth-graders are in the middle of their War Unit. They study pictures of war and choose one that particularly affected them. After researching the history behind the picture, students write reflective poems and essays.

Across the field stand the middle school buildings, where I found the seventh-grade students enjoying one of many simulations for their humanities class. Past the middle school multipurpose room, where I can remember many a middle school dance, the eighth-grade class puts the final touches on an in-depth research project.

As I walk by the pool, I do a double take. The whole class appears to be involved with an intense game of underwater hockey. What could be more fun on a hot Hawaii day?

Passing through the high school buildings, I found sophomores dressed a little differently in their English class. After reading a biography or autobiography of their choice, they come to classes dressed as his or her selected person and give a presentation on his or her life using props, music, videos and timelines.

I found the seniors in the college counselor's office, attending meetings with college representatives from schools all around the country. We seniors have big choices to make this year, and it is comforting to know that the college counselor's door is always open for us to flip through college pamphlets and books.

A lot has changed at Le Jardin since I first started attending. Everything is high-tech now and the school is expanding into new buildings with new facilities. It is exciting for me to see the school grow from its promising beginnings into its successful future.